Write-ups Over 3 Months Old

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Write-Ups: Can a new boss write up employee for absences that are three months old?

If a new boss takes over and see’s that a write up was not given for an absence, that occurred 3 months past. Can he still do this?


Write Up Right?


Dear Write Up Right?:

To the best of my knowledge there are no laws governing write ups. They are a form of discipline in many workplaces. Can your new boss write you up for an absence three months ago? If he has, apparently, he can. Possibly he learned of this from your previous boss. Also perhaps he wants to warn you that being absent without a valid excuse should that occur again can be cause for firing.

You can learn the rules regarding write-ups in your organization by checking with Human Resources or Personnel. What matters for you is how you respond. You can carry a grudge and allow other things your new boss does that annoy you to accumulate until you see him as an enemy. That is one choice. Another is to assume that he is simply trying to keep a record of so that he can manage irresponsible behavior.

From this distance, of course, I can’t know the reason for your absence, or if it was not the only one. If you were boss, would you keep a record of your employees’ absences? Would you also keep a record of exceptionally good things they do? There probably will be times when you should speak up in your or others’ behalf, but this probably is not one of them.

Only a few workplaces in this country allow employees to come and go as they wish. Those are places in which trust is a rule and time-clocks are not. In your workplace apparently bosses are expected to keep track of those within their charge. So might not the best thing for you to do is to make it a practice to arrive early and not rush out the door after your working day is officially over?

Why not work as though you were an owner-manager committed to making the performance of the highest possible quality in your company? Why not earn the respect and support of your new manager rather than to see his faults? Whether you continue or leave your current employment, you’ll not be happy picking a fight with him. Working with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Understand the meaning of that sentence and you’ll be more satisfied with your job.

William Gorden